Nominative absolute

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In English grammar, a nominative absolute is a free-standing (absolute) part of a sentence that describes the main subject and verb. It is usually at the beginning or end of the sentence, although it can also appear in the middle. Its parallel is the ablative absolute in Latin, or the genitive absolute in Greek.

One way to identify a nominative absolute is to add a verb; one can always create a sentence out of a nominative absolute by adding one verb (generally a form of to be).

A prominent example of a nominative absolute is the first half of the sentence composing the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution:

  • A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.